Such hues from their celestial urn
Were wont to stream before mine eye
Where'er it wandered in the morn
Of blissful infancy.
This glimpse of glory, why renewed?
Nay, rather speak with gratitude;
For, if a vestige of those gleams
Survived, 'twas only in my dreams.
Dread Power! whom peace and calmness serve
No less than nature's threatening voice,
If aught unworthy be my choice,
From THEE if I would swerve;
Oh, let thy grace remind me of the light
Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored;
Which, at this moment, on my waking sight
Appears to shine, by miracle restored:
My soul, though yet confined to earth,
Rejoices in a second birth!
--'Tis past; the visionary splendour fades;
And night approaches with her shades.
Although I have mentioned Wordsworth before Coleridge because he was two
years older, yet Coleridge had much to do with the opening of
Wordsworth's eyes to such visions; as, indeed, more than any man in our
times, he has opened the eyes of the English people to see wonderful
things. There is little of a directly religious kind in his poetry; yet
we find in him what we miss in Wordsworth, an inclined plane from the
revelation in nature to the culminating revelation in the Son of Man.
Somehow, I say, perhaps because we find it in his prose, we feel more of
this in Coleridge's verse.
Coleridge is a sage, and Wordsworth is a seer; yet when the sage sees,
that is, when, like the son of Beor, he falls into a trance having his
eyes open, or, when feeling and sight are one and philosophy is in
abeyance, the ecstasy is even loftier in Coleridge than in Wordsworth. In
their highest moods they seem almost to change places--Wordsworth to
become sage, and Coleridge seer. Perhaps the grandest hymn of praise
which man, the mouth-piece of Nature, utters for her, is the hymn of Mont